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International News Archive
February 01 - February 06, 2002


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This page contains news for the period February 01 through February 06, 2002.



<<   February 2002  >>

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Wednesday, February 6, 2002

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Australian Christian school expels out-of-wedlock student

A story released today by the Australian Associated Press reports that an eight year old Australian boy has been expelled from school after the Christian school he has been attending discovered that his mother was unmarried. The board of Kingsway Christian College in suburban Perth effectively banned eight-year-old James Brown from his school of four years last Friday.

It did so by preventing James' mother Barbara Brown gaining membership at the parent-controlled school, which is necessary for a child to be enrolled.

The new membership was required because James was enrolled under his grandmother's name, and she had moved to Adelaide.

Executive Director of Kingsway Christian College, Ray Dallin, said the school's board decided on Friday not to grant Ms. Brown membership because she did not meet the criteria set down under its constitution.

Mr. Dallin said the board would have been sending the wrong message to other students and parents if it had not declined the membership.

"The statement in membership is that the person really needs to be living a life which is compatible with the Protestant and evangelical principles," Mr. Dallin said.

"Based on the criteria that the board has to make the decision (adhering to guidelines) given to it by the parents, the board felt it had no other road to go down than to decline her membership."

Mr. Dallin said the school was prepared to reimburse Ms Brown for any school payments paid for this year and for new uniforms.


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France experiencing increase in out-of-wedlock births

A story released today by the BBC News reports that 43% of the 774,800 French babies born in 2001 were to unmarried couples. The same figures also noted that marriages are also on the increase.

But the theory of the seven-year itch appears to be untrue. The figures for 2001, released by the French National Statistics Institute (Insee), show that divorces peak at year five of the marriage, and decrease progressively from then on.

Tuesday, February 5, 2002

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Australia sees all time low in adoptions

A story released today by SMH.com reports that in Australia, adoptions have fallen to a record low, with contraception, abortion and social acceptance of single parents among the reasons cited for a dramatic 30-year decline.

A survey by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare tracking the fall in adoptions found the reasons for the drop reflect fundamental shifts in Australian society over the past 30 years.

Since the peak of 9798 adoptions in 1971-72, contraceptives have become widely available and used, cutting the number of unplanned pregnancies.

Abortion has also become more acceptable, the institute says.

The report also cites the introduction of income support for single parents, and a change in community attitudes toward single parenting.

Another big contributor to the decline is that step-parents, who previously tended to adopt their partners' children, are now encouraged to become legal guardians. That principle also applies to other relatives, such as grandparents.

The institute report said the fall in adoptions in 2000-01 was almost entirely due to a decline in local adoptions - that is, adoptions of Australian children by Australians.

Most children adopted now come from overseas, in contrast to the early 1970s when most adoptions were of Australian-born children.

The decline comes as childless Australians - often frustrated by the difficulties in adopting - spend more and more on fertility treatments like IVF.

Many such treatments are subsidized by the Federal Government, although it continues to take a dim view of unmarried women receiving such treatment.


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